As the Colts prepare to take on the Bengals in their season opener, I sat down with the site expert at Stripe Hype to do a short Q&A on what to expect from the Bengals on Sunday.
The Colts open the season at home against the Bengals on Sunday. In order to learn more about what might be concerning from their point of view, I sat down with Jack Lane of Stripe Hype, the site expert of the Cincinnati Bengals FanSided site.
Ryan: Vontaze Burfict is suspended for this game. How will the linebackers perform without him leading the way?
Jack: I’m worried about the linebackers. Burfict really holds the unit up, especially against the run. The hope is that Preston Brown can steady the group while Burfict is out, but it’s the weak point of the defense.
Ryan: Is Andy Dalton‘s lack of consistency the biggest concern for this team moving forward?
Jack: I’m actually pretty confident in Dalton this year, and his preseason performance backs that up. The biggest concern is still the offensive line, which has disappointed so far. If they can’t create space in the running game or give Dalton a clean pocket, the offense could crumble.
Ryan: How good is Joe Mixon in the running game and do you expect him to have a good game against the Colts?
Jack: Mixon should have a strong game, but I think it depends on the O-line. He’s in for a big year two, but he needs to show a little more north-south running in between the tackles. In space, Mixon’s a monster. I’d expect a good first game for him.
Ryan: Give me a game prediction now. Who wins the opener on Sunday and why.
Jack: You know I got to pick the Bengals here. I think the pass rush is really going to bother Luck all game. On offense, Green, Ross, and Eifert will all win their matchups too. Give me the Bengals by 10, 27-17.
It was interesting to learn that he was as concerned about the Bengals offensive line as Colts fans are about theirs. It seems that if the Colts can generate pressure, it could be a long day for Dalton and the Cinci offense.
I’m not surprised to see him pick the Bengals in this one. I will give my game predictions tomorrow to let you know who wins and why.